I distinctly remember at recess racing to be the first of the kids at the swings so that I had maximum air time. There was magic in the swing set that no other playground equipment had. As you hurdle yourself off the ground and propel yourself upwards, the air blowing in your face you are immediately desiring to fly higher. To see more of the sky. To feel weightless and carefree.
Soaring upwards you feel light.
Like a bird floating through life.
Disconnected from all the madness, people, problems, and insanity that lies below you at ground floor. You soar towards the heavens, the blue skies opening up with beauty and peace.
But much like life anytime you soar upwards you immediately are catapulted back down. You are only gifted the reward of that serene flotation if you work for it. If you pump your legs and thrust your hips hard enough to catapult yourself back up into the wide open.
As a child the swings were my absolute favorite. And then middle school happened and recess wasn't a thing. Then high school, college, and 'real life' happened and I forgot about swings. My love for them never died - just remembering them- and making time for them did.
Yesterday I walked by a park (as one often does) and for whatever reason I made a mad dash for the swings. It was my first time on them in years. It was still as magical as when I was a child! Except I feel like I appreciated the fresh air, shining sun, trees above, laughing children below, and rush of lightness more yesterday than ever.
Maybe I found some symbolism in swinging that I never saw as a child. That the best things in life, you have to work for...and the more work you put in, the higher your soar.
Maybe I appreciated the moment with nature more. I am recently finding a sense of love for laying at the beach at night to stare at the overwhelming intensity of the stars and my role in the universe. I am making efforts to look up at the trees instead of down at my phone as I wander the streets. I am loving breathing in freshly cut grass as I partake in runs. Being in the air gives you a connection with nature unlike others- a birds eye view if you will. Like most interactions with nature you leave with a sense of your smallness in the world and a deep sense of connection with what really matters.
Today I walked by another park...and went on the swings again.
I urge you, next time you see a swing set - embrace the inner child that never stopped loving the rush of floating, the connection with nature, the lesson that your hard work will make you soar, the feeling of escape from all the everyday-ness below, a sense of freedom, and most importantly a reason to smile and laugh.
Run like its recess and you need to be one of the first kids there so you have a spot.
Get on a swing.
Bring yourself a reminder of what matters.
Believer that everyone is special.